What is a split end? A split end is found on broken hair, where the broken end of the hair splits lengthwise into two or more fractured ends.

Split ends result in hard to manage hair and are the result of badly managed hair. Many people hack their hair off in despair, because of split ends. This is because split ends cause uneven, ragged, and poufy hair which is highly prone to static electricity.

There are several stages to hair care:

  • Washing
  • Drying
  • Combing/Brushing
  • Hairdressing (includes curlers, curling iron, hair spray, perms, relaxers, dyes, etc.)

Each these stages of hair care is important to good hair management and can improve or worsen hair condition, but different types of hair require different hair care products. Today I am discussing combing and brushing, which should apply equally to all types of hair. One old adage states that you should brush your hair 100 times on each side every night. If I did that, I would have static electricity and broken hair, regardless of how well I treated my hair otherwise. This brings us to the fact that different types of hair require different hair care methods. My hair is neither dry nor is it prone to greasiness. I would never dream of using hair extensions, primarily because my hair is already so thick and heavy that I have to consider whether to cut it short or keep it up off my neck every spring in order to protect myself from over-heating.

Static electricity causes hair to tangle (far worse than without static electricity). Tangles knot up in combs and brushes. Pulling a comb or brush indiscriminately through tangled hair causes split ends. Split ends (and old hair in brushes and combs) cause even worse static electricity and therefore even worse tangling problems.

People often use conditioners to cut down on static electricity and to make hair brushing/combing easier. Using a conditioner simply makes my hair break easier, if I assume that the conditioner protects me from tangled hair. This is because the comb rides so smoothly and easily through my hair, until it hits that knot and then my hair snaps, because the comb is moving so fast.

These are the rules that I follow to reduce hear breakage or split ends:

  1. Always clean the hair out of the brush/comb, after use. This cuts down on static electricity.
  2. If the brush/comb gets grungy, it may be cleaned in soapy hair, with a soapy brush, or in the dishwasher (if it is dishwasher safe).
  3. Start combing/brushing the hair at the ends to work the tangles out gently, rather from the top, (which causes the tangles to knot). This is the same process used with soapy hair to clean the comb/brush and can be done standing up straight or bending over, with all the hair hanging down together.
  4. I avoid using a brush on my hair, because it is harder to clean the hair and grunge out of it and it is more likely to tangle the hair in the brush.
  5. Starting with a wide-toothed brush/comb that has widely separated teeth and moving once or twice to a brush/comb with smaller teeth with smaller separations also reduces the amount of broken hair and thus split ends. I usually use three different sizes of combs.

By following these methods I went from unmanageable and unruly hair that conditioner could not even help to I do not usually use a conditioner and yet I do not have to get my hair cut more than once a year to once every other year and I don’t even necessarily have to cut it then.

Note: These instructions do not include shampoos, conditioners, or any other hair management concoction, because hair care for different types of hair varies widely. Also because of this problem, there is no guarantee of using this method getting rid of all split ends. Even I, eventually, get split ends and once you have one, more split ends occur much more easily. Once you have them, the only way to get rid of them is to trim your hair.